Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Beating the Heat

We're trying to stay inside as much as possible and away from the scorching heat.
So today, we took Abby to try her first real (she's an expert on the Wii) game of bowling.
She had a blast and scored a very impressive 32.
And you're trying to tell me she doesn't share my DNA????

That kind of skill can NOT be learned!
And, I won't mention what my own score was!
I held strong and DID NOT succumb to the second game the kids were begging for, because, I told them, I'm not made of money.
I just wanted a cheap afternoon out and didn't really want to end up spending $50 to do that. They moaned and groaned, and I went up to the counter to pay.
The grand total for FIVE people including shoe rentals and playing time??????
And I felt like the cheapest mother in the world.
But I promised I'd take them back VERY soon.
At those prices, I might even let the little man in on the action.
By the way, if you're wondering why there's no pictures of the boys, I'll be honest.
The girls are just so much cuter.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Andrew Peterson - Dancing in the Minefields (Official Video)

I saw this on one of the blogs I read, and I couldn't help tear up AND smile at the same time. To hear it, make sure you turn up my blog playlist so you won't be listening to two songs at once. Just scroll down and look for the music playlist on the sidebar (to the right) and hit pause.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Showa Memorial Park

Today we visited Showa Memorial Park, which is only about a 20 minute drive from base. We left the house with the intention of parking by on base near the gate and walking to the train station, and then taking the train a few miles down to the town of Tachikawa. However, once we left we were completely shocked by how ridiculously HOT it was outside. I think it was around 94 degrees. We decided to forego the 15 minute walk to the train station and just drive there instead. Well, on the drive there we had to go right by Showa Memorial Park, and we decided to make a pit stop to check it out. We had no idea it was so MASSIVE.

Cool little cavern area we got to meander through:

Bouncing on some giant bouncy blob thingie:

What's a 94 degree day at the park without an ice cream break (we actually took TWO ice cream breaks):

Showa Memorial Park Part 2

Ice Cream break # 2:

You can rent a boat, but we were too hot.

They also have a mega swimming area with several swimming pools and slides, but obviously we were not dressed for it. I think this park will be one of our favorite local spots, though. We're already talking about when we will get to go back.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Help Another Child Come Home

I don't know if anyone noticed the new button I place on my sidebar this week, that looks like this:

Lori's family at Joy Unspeakable is starting the process for ANOTHER (as in #3) adoption. They just got home I think last year with their sweet 13 year old Macy. And they're going back for a 13 year old boy this time. In a big hurry, because in China children become unadoptalbe once they turn 14. And, well, sadly, adoption in not cheap. Especially when you do it three times in three years. So, Lori is hosting a big fundraiser. Stop by her blog and see how YOU might bea able to help bring another child home to their loving family (just click on the button above).

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mt. Fuji

My boys (the three big ones) climbed Mt. Fuji today. It was a long, hard day. They left here at 4:20 am to start the 1 1/2 hr drive to their starting point. They climbed for the next six hours to reach the summit. I had stocked them with oxygen cans, plenty of snacks, and even rain gear. Most of it (except for, of course, the snacks) was not needed.

I tried calling their cell phones at some point and although I did not get through, I was very surprised to have them return my call a while later. It felt like a cell phone commercial.

They all said it was the hardest thing they've done in their entire life. I am SO proud of them for making it all the way!! The way up was difficult, but they said what really did them in was actually the descent. I guess you're just exhausted by then, the anticipation of reaching the top has subsided, and you still have about three hours before you're all done.

They finally made it home at about 6 pm. I thought

the boys would immediately crawl into bed, but they surprised me by staying up and giving me all the details. They ate a HUGE dinner and then hung out and played video games until their regular bed time. Daddy, however, WAS all done for the day. Age will do that to you, I guess.

I am looking forward to getting to do this myself at some point. What I would like to do is start hiking up in the evening, spend the night at one of the huts they have along the way, and then reach the summit at dawn to watch the sunrise. I know I have family out there who would do that with me, so c'mon, get out here!!!!

These pictures are not in any particular order - sorry. I am too tired to try to make it make more sense. I love the amazing views from the top that remind us of the awesome hand of our Creator.

You can stop at different stations on the way up, where they will brand your walking stick with a different imprint. Makes a very cool and unique souvenir.

At the summit.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Overdue Pics

First night in a "big boy" bed. He did SOOOOOO well!! Too well - the next morning he woke up and laid there quietly for who knows how long before someone finally checked on him. I had told him not to get up, so he didn't. I'm going to have to teach him how to read a clock at an early age!

A slanted view of the backyard. See that brown building behind it??? Yeah, it houses Starbucks. Thank you.
Living room with loaner furniture. Will show some better pictures when the way cool sofa we just ordered arrives.

Yes, I'm a slave driver. Here's Abby doing summer school, just because I'm too afraid she'll forget all the phonics we've worked so hard on for five months. Can you tell how thrilled she is about this?

Kitchen. I acually have 3 times the cabinet space here than I had at our last house.

View of downtown Fussa.

One of the gigantic stores I told you about:

Please clap for Mr. Donut:

The girls starting a new tradition on our first night in the new house. Although all of the kids have always washed their own dishes after each meal, we have decided (and by we, I mean I) that they can step that up to doing ALL of the dishes - including those used for cooking. They can just load them in the dishwasher and put away anything that was already in there. They are alternating nights - one night for the girls and one for the boys. It's freeing me up to do some laundry or give Cy his bath - and frankly, with them working together it only takes them about 10 minutes to get done. I love the look of joy on Lanie's face. Actually, it was a weird picture, but she is the one out of all the kids who is very excited about doing this.

And just in case you were left with the impression that I'm working my kids to the bone, I just spent a pretty penny today signing them up for every activity known to man. Over the next few weeks, they will be doing paintball camp, robotics camp, archery camp, soccer camp, and starting soccer season, dance and piano lessons. Not every one is doing every single one of those activities, of course, just a few each.